Hawks leave home, hope for some positive continuity

Things can’t be all that good for your team when they feel like they might have to leave home to get back on track.  Every team, even the true contenders, go through bad spells. If you don’t believe it, just read NBA.com and every other site that pays any attention to NBA basketball. Why watch soap operas when you can just keep up with what’s going on with the Lakers? It’s just another reality show. But with the Hawks, it just feels different. How do you lose a home game to a team with a worse record by 34 points, then follow it up with another loss at home by losing a 22 point lead? 

Denial is an ugly thing 

Josh Smith talks about a chance to bond. Honestly? How much more bonding can you do before you realize that some parts simply don’t fit the way you need them to? This team doesn’t need to bond. They don’t need to gel. They don’t need to find an identity. They don’t need a shock either, or any other cliche. What they need is an operation. A transplant. Something that wasn’t there before, but is needed. The problem is, you have to first accept that you’re missing something, or that whatever you had has gone bad. Then, you have to act on this knowledge. Does management know that something is flat out wrong? Is the front office willing to accept that idea? Most fans are tired of hearing “we’re keeping an ear out and an eye open for any deals that may come along.”

You know what? That sounds like you’re doing something else, but you’ll try and take notice if an opportunity to improve the team happens to come along. Gee, there must be a lot of people in need of suing, or something…..

 

What’s the worst that could happen?

Maybe management should have asked that question once it was decided that Mike Woodson wouldn’t be the coach of the team anymore, and the “search” for a “new” one was on. Maybe management did ask that question when deciding to promote Larry Drew, instead of trying for someone from outside the organization. Maybe I have the question wrong. Maybe it should have been “what’s the best that can happen?”

Of course, asking such questions would insinuate that Larry Drew is part of the problem, rather than part of the solution, right? Well, that depends on your perspective. Drew brought forth the idea of the motion offense, yet the team continues to have inexplicable collapses in the second half of games. Drew preached accountability on defense, yet the Hawks succumb to penetration from the perimeter on a regular basis. Drew said this, Drew said that. Now he is doing things that seem in direct contrast with what he said before the season began, and making phantom tinkerings with the lineup. Yeah, the Hawks could have and maybe should have hired a guy from the outside to coac this team. But how much difference would it have made? Maybe no more than changing a dirty oil filter on a car that really needs a few engine parts replaced.

 

A pointed issue

There is a good deal of unrest about the point guard situation for Atlanta. Sports writers will typically bring up the 2005 draft when broaching the subject, but the past is indeed the past. The Hawks can’t get better defense out of Mike Bibby or Jamal Crawford, and they are easy targets when either is not shooting well. The obvious solution to some is 2nd year point guard Jeff Teague. But what has Teague done that makes him a solution to an ongoing problem? Perhaps that question need not be asked, and we find ourselves back with another one – “what’s the worst that could happen?” Maybe Drew sees this sooner rather than later, and decides to play the guy. Why? Because by now, the point is not longer about whether or not Jeff Teague is the solution for the Hawks, in the areas where Bibby and Crawford fail. The point is that the Hawks need to know what they have in Teague, and whether or not he can be developed into something they can use. If not, then he’s trade bait. In addition, the Hawks must get to where they are no longer relying on a super-sub shooting guard to be their savior when their top scorer is off his game, or when their starting point guard can’t get it done. I mean seriously, relying on a streaky scorer who can’t defend, to save you when your back is against the wall? Who’s idea was that?

Up Next

Two games east, five games west. This could get really ugly for the Hawks, or we could be left shaking our heads and wondering how a team this good can be this bad at time, as they roll to a winning total on their road trip.

Well, it all starts in Detroit. Talk about bad memories, when the Hawks last played there (December 14th) they lost by 23 points. Of course, Joe Johnson was out with injury, but that wasn’t all. Atlanta got ripped by Detroit’s bench, beaten like a drum on the glass, and had an epic fourth quarter collapse. Fact is, the Hawks only played one winning quarter out of that whole game. Now, with Joe back in the fold, can they get revenge and start this trip off right?

 

 

By Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest Blog

343 comments Add your comment

doc

February 13th, 2011
10:57 pm

1 and 6 on the road trip.

doc

February 13th, 2011
10:58 pm

nailed it legitimately, read the article wrote the comment to stay FIRST.

JSS

February 13th, 2011
11:02 pm

Well put Big Ray… This team has either collapsed in the 2nd half as you poignantly examined; or had massive meltdowns to begin games in some bizarre instances. I just scratch my head now. We were promised that this team as constituted would not be allowed to do such thing anymore… So as you noted, where is the organizational, coaching, and more importantly locker room accountability?

doc

February 13th, 2011
11:05 pm

me i am happy as the team played beyond expectations to now except i thought they might have gotten the system down now and be getting stronger rather than being beaten by a team gelling and another that cant beat its 48 yr old owner. i thought 44 to 48 and for a while thought they might exceed. not anymore. no it wasnt woody nor could he have been expected to take em higher. good we saved 3 mil so we could go out and acquire help in the post over the summer when we went cheap on drew. oh, you say we didnt work to get anyone and signed sy, etan and collins instead of aggressively pursuing shaq or someone of similar bulk and experience? my my, good businessmen this askg group.

steve brown

February 13th, 2011
11:28 pm

What’s the downside? We know this team has no chance of winning a championship. Take a risk, do something before we all are bored to death. The highlight factory, what a pathetic marketing campaign. J Smooth, what a joke of a nickname. Is there anyone with a pulse in the front office. Someone help, I watched pro bowling on ESPN today! I need help now.

beone

February 14th, 2011
12:22 am

If Hawks mgt & owners don’t see that the fans are fed up and will only be happy with a trade (and not a small one) then there is no hope whatsoever because they have decided to ignore reason. They are delusional at a majestic level and incapable of believing they have made (a) mistake(s). Hence, nothing will be done and nothing will change. AND IF NOTHING CHANGES, THE FAN BASE WILL DECREASE BY THOUSANDS AND DECLINES IN ATTENDANCE WILL FOLLOW!!! If they think attendance is bad now, then just wait – if they don’t change this team in a hurry.

E43

February 14th, 2011
1:05 am

beone- what fanbase? the people that come to watch the hawks are the main real fans. Even if they were atop the eastern conference people still wouldn’t come to watch. The fans issue has to do with marketing and prices. coz there are many teams with nothing(Cleveland) that have a better home percentage in attendance than the hawks.

JSS

February 14th, 2011
1:06 am

The downside is a recurrence of 2002-2003! Blow it up that way again and Kansas City will have a team! Still, some of the AJC bloggers would love that so they can talk GA and Falcons stinkball 24/7!

vava74

February 14th, 2011
5:58 am

http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20110212&game=CHAATL

The lead evaporated when Collins left the floor in the 3rd quarter (to not return).

He brings defensive cohesion. Defends his man well and rotates showing his hands to penetrators on pick n’ roll plays.

Ray

February 14th, 2011
6:56 am

It’s been to long since I last seen a hawks game which tells you how disappointed I am.

At this point the hawks are like the family dog that you know it needs to be put down, but you can’t bring yourself to be the one to do it.

I know thing that will save us from the hawks is an NBA Lockout and then you couple that with NFL yeah I know it will suck, but at least you got Soccer or Baseball.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
7:23 am

Last year, I think players tuned Woody out. And I’m starting to wonder if they are starting to tune LD out already.

He talks about taking more 3 pointers than FTs, and says “we cant be doing that”. Except we have done that in 37 out of 53 games.

He says we can’t settle for jump shots down the stretch. Except we do it all the time. We have lost 20 games this season. In 10 of those games, we have scored less than 20 points in the fourth quarter, with one of the biggest reasons being we settled for jump shots.

And Josh Smith talks about bonding? This team has had the same starting lineup for parts of 4 different seasons. And most of the players have been together for years. But Josh talks about bonding? Really Josh?

Sometimes I wonder if the team realizes there is a problem, or if they just shrug their shoulders and figure that they will get it right the next game.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
7:52 am

Speaking of Josh, would anybody try a big lineup of Collins/Horford/Marvin/JJ/Bibby?

And then bring Josh off the bench like the Lakers do Lamar Odom. That way, he will play most of his minutes at backup PF (when Al goes to the bench or goes to Center) and a few minutes at backup SF.

Josh would strengthen our bench, and will help defensively when he is on the floor with Jamal. Plus it doesnt matter who starts, right? It’s all about who finishes.

Speaking of finishing, a discussion from the other blog is one lineup LD needs to go away from is the Bibby/Jamal/JJ down the stretch (unless Bibby and Jamal are both playing well).

Because when one of them is off, thats too much of a defensive liability, and not enough offense (if one of them has been cold the entire game).

Just a couple tinkers LD can keep in mind.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
7:55 am

Some other options are: LD can give Jordan some minutes at backup PG (especially when Jamal is struggling).

He could even try a lineup of Al/Josh/JJ/Mo Evans/Bibby. I’m not sure what good that would do, but it could be a change for the sake of change :smile:

STRETCH

February 14th, 2011
8:10 am

They should do pretty darn good on this trip. The environment shouldnt be a factor cause the crowd factor would be similar to that in Atlanta!

Willie Coyote

February 14th, 2011
8:21 am

I’m sure with the blown leads there’ll be the standard “it’s the NBA…these things happen” excuse. The problem with that excuse (other than it’s an excuse) is that the Hawks always give up 20+ point leads. It is an oddity when they actually hold on to a big lead. It is the norm for them to completely blow it and have to scramble at the end to try to pull the game out.

Changes need to be made. I will agree with Sund’s approach when he says he’s not in to lateral moves. You don’t make a trade just to do it. If you pull the trigger on a move then it needs to make you either immediately better, or position you to be significantly better in a year or two for the long term. If that is not available, then…

E43

February 14th, 2011
8:32 am

They actually do need to bond. I don’t think josh smiths statement about bonding had to do with the past years. Its more about now with all these lineup changes.

E43

February 14th, 2011
8:37 am

obrien- jamal crawford historically plays better on the road. This season hes at .380 home and about .450 on the road.

N.D.T.K.A.

February 14th, 2011
8:53 am

Interesting that it now seems that the most important factor for the Hawks is coaching and management moves. This comes into play more than what the actual players are or are not doing on the court. The player can only go on the floor and perform what is asked.

It is the coach and GM’s job to implement a system for winning and evaluate the talent on the court. Hence, when looking at the Hawks everyone including bloggers, fans, analysts, and sports reporters realized before the season JC1 and Bibby will not and cannot play effective defense. Also everyone realized Joe Johnson, with the max contract, is not the leader of this team.

So, why trade Josh or Marvin or Teague? They maybe tradeable assets (young talent not living up to their potential in one way or another) but to move forward in a a positive direction Drew and Sund have to find away to get rid of veterans making a lot of money but ruining the culture of your team.

If the Hawks are a team get rid of Bibby and Jamal Crawford they are veterans and set the stage for the rest of the team. You cannot trade Joe with that contract so cut bait with JC1 and get rid of Bibby as an expiring contract for next year if possible.

Josh is trying to be leader but does not know how and is way too emotional. Marvin will never live up to his draft position but is decent and still has potential to get better. How can Teague get better without playing any minutes?

The key is Josh, Marvin, and Teague will never get better being held back by lousy veterans with bad habits and a coach and GM who do not or cannot develop their talent and put that talent in a position to win.

Hey, this all sounds like the same thing we were talking about this past summer before the season!!!

The answer is get a good coach and GM!!

vava74

February 14th, 2011
9:21 am

OB,

“…more 3 pointers than FTs, and says “we cant be doing that”. Except we have done that in 37 out of 53 games.”

That’s a bad stat, however, we must also take into consideration that our ball movement has improved significantly and that we do launch a lot of uncontested jumpers, including 3 pointers.

So I would take that stat into consideration but would not consider it critical.

A simple explanation for that stat is that we have the starting PG in the league that gets LESS to the line and I bet that he is surpassed in that category by at least 50% of the PG reserves (including 3rd stringers).

Ray

February 14th, 2011
9:23 am

You know listening to most of you it seems we all have the right answers, but in a way we’re all wrong.

I’ll admit giving Joe(Big Money contract) Johnson all that money was the worse move ever in the history of all sports. You’re paying someone who is actually a 2nd-3rd option on the celtics, lakers, or spurs 1st option money. We all see that.

We always talk about Marvin williams and even though he’s a bust for the most part it’s only in the terms of his draft status cause we know in any other team not named Cleveland, Wizards, Timberwolves, Clippers, Kings, Rockets, or Pistons he wouldn’t be starting he’d be at best the 6th option off the bench.

We say trade everyone for Blake Griffin which means we would only be in the same position as the clippers and they’ll be better. We say LD needs to back up his words whenever he makes a threat. We even say the GM and owners need to do something about this.

In all honesty I feel like this year it’s more both players and fans faults, but for the fans it’s more indirectly(not showing up) when there are no behinds in the seats it can take a toll on a team. Plus being booed off your home-court I think it happened twice this year. Yeah it could make even the toughest man in the room shed a tear you know.

Maybe that could also explain Josh Smith I think he wants to be the hometown hero to the fans, and for his basketball team. He wants to be the guy that once his career is over felt like he gave ATL all that he could. That’s only a possibility that I’ll expand on after my college class.

Mr Mojo

February 14th, 2011
9:30 am

time to put the blame wherre it belongs its all on the owners and GM. They need to make something happen and improve this team either they are to dumb to or to cheap either way I hate ASG. Trading Josh smith is not the answer you people are just looking for an escape goat you trade josh you have no interior defense and no shot at Dwight Howard in 2012.

Big Daddy

February 14th, 2011
9:52 am

Good post Big Ray. I can tell the frustration in what you write and it has been ecohed many times on the different beat writers blogs. So, why doesn’t the front office do something? Everybody else sees what we see and I can’t help but believe there is little they are willing to trade for as a need for their time.

The guard play is killing us. This season, Mike’s game is on a steep decline. He does have his moments and occaisionally does hit very timely 3 pt shots. However, this is extremely spotty and as everyone has pointed out, he is a defensive liability. Joe has been up and down since coming back from surgery and mostly down. Here is a guy with THE max contract and scores 30+ points in one game and then the next 3 games scores in single digits. Jamaal is a streaky shooter and poor defender so when his shots are not falling, which has been a lot lately, he sticks out. Plus, sometimes it seems his defense consist of turning around and telling Josh or Al, here he comes.

What really stands out to me as on the nights when they are not playing and I watch other teams. The good teams, when they are not shooting well still play tough defense. That keeps them in the game and, I suspect, keeps their belief that they will be able to come back and maybe win. Our guys do not do that. I saw them last year come back several times and win games. I am not seeing that this year. The defense has always got to be stout in order for them to be able to make that run.

I can only hope that in the next few days some deal is made. There are a number of backups who have been suplanted by rookies or trades who we can get in to do a better job than what we have now. GO HAWKS!!!! (sigh)

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
9:54 am

In the past two summers, Sund has brought in Teague, Collins, Etan, Powell, JC2 and Sy. Collins has been narrowly effective, the others, not yet (how’s that for Monday morning optimism). I’ll give him credit for Damien (although that should have been done in August and not November). 6 virtually empty roster spots filled by this GM. While it won’t keep us from being good it will surely keep us from being better. One wonders which of those two things is the end goal.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
9:55 am

As for LD and his tinkering and possible lineup changes, does anyone take him seriously (players, fans, media, front office)? Just reading his quotes, he sounds like a politician who doesnt want to commit to anything either way, so he leaves a lot of wiggle room in there.

From ajc.com;

Drew also said he’s still contemplating permanent changes to the starting lineup, a subject he first broached following the loss to Philadelphia.

“Let’s just see if we can regroup for these last two games before the break,” he said. “If we can’t and I still don’t like what I see then, I will look at possibly making some kind of change to possibly shake things up a little bit.”.

Huh? So if the Hawks play well and win the next 2 games, does that mean he wont bother with any timkering, because all is well? And even if the Hawks lose, as long as he likes what he sees then he wont bother with any changes?

C’mon Man. Even if the Hawks play well these next 2 games, their history suggests its only a matter of time before they struggle to score in the fourth, or give up a big lead and lose, or possibly get blown out.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
10:00 am

E43

They actually do need to bond. I don’t think josh smiths statement about bonding had to do with the past years. Its more about now with all these lineup changes..

The lineup changes have been minor, because we still have the same top 8 players from last year. The biggest difference is sometimes Collins starts over Marvin. And we are 50 something games in the season, so everybody should be well adjusted by now (imo).

vava,

I agree that the stat don’t tell the whole story. But even if the shots are open, we are not making them in crunch time consistently. So at some point, we need to go into the post.

But you’re right. Its hard to do that when only Jamal can consistently create off the dribble, and your starting PG hangs out by the 3 pt line.

doc

February 14th, 2011
10:28 am

ob, LD maybe a bit of a narcissist or of the mindset he is more in control than he may be. ever notice it is about him getting guys shots, putting guys where they need to be, etc, instead of it is the players when it is good and the coaches when it isnt so good? man where is the, “we just need to rebound and defend better”?

nire, can you start giving us similar comparisons for jamal and jj between last year and this year, or is it a given that the impression that both have deteriorated significantly that you dont need to bother? i still see a whole lot of uncontested jump shots missed by those guys.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
10:50 am

LD maybe a bit of a narcissist

You mean like the description of his offense that is unlike anything run in the NBA? The same offense that is delivering fewer points/game than last year and as many 4th quarter scoring outages? About 115 regular season games to go before we give either Ty Hill of Bob Bender their shot at the big chair.

kwooden

February 14th, 2011
10:59 am

Big R, great post! My problem is we’re a Playoff team that the League knows how to beat. (That’s why we get no respect from the Media!) I think we’re tough enough to make it out of the 1st round, but you can have such obvious issues and make it past the 2nd. Am I missing something or do we not know what Teague can do! We know what Maynor, Collison and Douglas can do, but what about Jeff. Bibby will have nothing in the tank come Playoff time if LD keeps playing him 25+ minutes a game! Is that clear to LD!! You can win or lose with Bibby, but you don’t know if you can win with Jeff. If there’s not going to be a trade made, then that is the only move that can make any significant difference. Without that move this team could easily get ousted in the 1st round, or at best get abused in the 2nd. The top side with Teague is the EOF, the bottom is out in the 1st. 1st or Finals, either way you would know what you have.

Because of that, I’m not really concerned with this road trip. This team has shown that they can get the ship righted and make it to the Playoffs. I think that they will go 3-4 or 4-3 on this trip and get some good play out of Jamal especially. My issue again is we’re to predictable on the defensive side, with no answers. We can switch or go zone, and neither is very effective. Jeff clearly isn’t the guy in LD’s mind, so we have to make a move. I would like to see what Jeff can do, but baring injury I don’t think Jeff’s going to see a lot of time. (Doesn’t make any sense!)

GO HAWKS!

Fundamentals

February 14th, 2011
11:10 am

Bonding? How about getting real with us, for once. We needed/need something more than what we’ve got. We don’t have right starting personnell, much less the right role players. Here’s my Monday morning optimism:

Collins – needs more minutes if you expect him not to foul out? Dude needs rotational minutes to keep him crisp. He’s shown value, use him and he’ll give you what he can.

Al – Needs to go the bucket, needs to be “Boss” on D. Dude’s getting soft. I love his game, but he’s different in his new deal.

Josh – Also needs to go to the bucket. Consistency and Mental Maturity still hamper his game.

Joe – Seemed to be rounding into 1st tier form, till he dissappeared with Marvin when we needed him most of late. We need leadership Joe, not a desire to stay under the radar. You took the money, now show us the leadership? We need it desperately!

Bibby is almost done for the year. Dude is starting to hobble, shot is gone. If we could rest him till the playoffs, he might come back like he did early this year, but who can replace him till then?

Teague – seems to enjoy his bench role, b/c he’s not showing any fire or any determination to take the slot. He must be reading AC’s diary at night.

Marvin – back to his old dissappearing self. He’ll never fit in, deal with it. If he’s such a great pick, capitalize on the value NOW.

Mo – Obviously not the same after surgery…not that I saw his “great” defense before, but in his defense he was at SF and not SG then.

Damien – needs to get into full game shape, needs to take the open shot, needs to show that 1st game passion on D like he did against Lebron. He’s just happy to be here.

Jamal – Obviously making up for those awesome games a month or so ago. STREAKY w/ No D to boot.

ZaZa – a little energy of late, but far from the early days. Dude isn’t focussed on basketball. It’s a job, not a passion.

Powell – couldn’t prove his value on D or the boards. Seems to have potential, but he seems to be in the doghouse? What happened to the championship work ethic, experience, leadership? Dude’s drawing a paycheck.

JC2 – Must be reading the diaries of AC Law, Royal Ivey, Teague, Salim, ect just to cope with no chance of fitting in?

Sy – can’t even command 1st tier attention in the D-League.

Oh yeah, Etan – maybe he can write a pregame poem? Where’s the beef, the biceps, the brawn? So far we’ve gotten nothing from him?

LD/ASG/SUND – NO ACCOUNTABILITY TO MAKE THIS TEAM GREAT. We’re one and done people. The team is flawed by it’s own leadership. They don’t seem to care enough to hold kids accountable. They’ll be happy with 50 wins and an early exit b/c we got home court…if we get home court.

Chris E

February 14th, 2011
11:12 am

We have to have the most pessimistic fans in the NBA. The Hawks definitely have problems but we can’t have it both ways. Coach Drew’s offense works and it is still just his 1st year as coach, the Hawks are a half game out of the 4th seed and not far away from the 3rd seed. That means they have played solid ball even though the media and fan base have slayed them long ago. I wish you naysayers or couch potato coaches shut up and show more patience and support.

My biggest complaint with this season has been lack of fan support, Drew not playin Teague enough and not sticking with Twin in the starting lineup. We definitely need better consistent defense from the pg position but I don’t see a trade happening, so that will have to be addressed next year.

For now, start Collins, bring Marvin off the bench, get Teague more involved and get that bench rotation tight. All is not lost and they have enough pieces to be dangerous. Drew just has to clearly define eveyones roles. This will bring about more success at the end of games.

For all the negative talk, the starters have performed very well as a unit minus Marvin consistently. The leads are usually lost when the bench enters the game. There is no continuity in the rotation!!! That to me is their biggest challenge moving forward.

Fundamentals

February 14th, 2011
11:25 am

Chris E?

We do have a decent starting unit, but they don’t stay foccussed, they don’t run LD’s offense and they don’t play together. Maybe that’s what Josh meant when he talked of needing to bond. They can’t expect to win playing selfish, jumpshot offense and no D. It’s an accountability issue.

Problem with accountability is our role players don’t hold their role. They are as inconsistent as their leaders. They don’t give us reliable back-ups.

I’ve been here for a long time, I love this team. I’ll watch every minute of every game, but it doesn’t mean I have to voice undying support of lackluster efforts and selfish play.

I’m pissed b/c they don’t come close to potential and they just don’t seem to care. Continuity? Maybe after 8-10 years with essentially the same team-mates we can claim they’ve had enough time. Sure there’s a few new faces, but they’re not playing. They’ve essentially had years for continuity to develop. BS, Chris E, BS!

Fundamentals

February 14th, 2011
11:29 am

If we address the need for defense and better play at PG we’ll be seeing next year sooner than later. Teague has to show some fire, some determination, some real die hard effort on D. He needs to command the ball to initiate the offense. He has to lead. Right now he’s happy watching either Jamal bring the ball up. This is the NBA, dude just isn’t measuring up. I don’t mean that in talent. I mean in terms of him showing us his inner puppy.

Ray

February 14th, 2011
11:29 am

The thing about Jeff Teague that’s annoying me is he gets no chances it seems everytime I watch the game it seems like every little mistake he makes he gets all the blame, but if the starters make mistakes well it was just a bad possession or something on that line which is sad.

Free Horford/Jordan Crawford/ Jeff Teague Now drew I want to see what the two rooks can really do.

Fundamentals

February 14th, 2011
11:35 am

Ray – That’s all LD’s excuse to yank him. Dude has to play with tenacity, determination and fire. He has the skills, he just won’t use it. Maybe we should show him tapes of Spud’s first years? I remember him all bandaged up from a Kevin Willis elbow. Dude was fighting for his life. He played like it and thus played a valuable role for that team.

Jordan needs to focus on defense, not shooting every opportunity he gets the ball.

Both get yanked because they rise to the energy level and tenacity our starters set forth. Basically following their lead. Both needs to see every chance to play as a job interview.

Teague needs to show us his passion. I think he’d rather be a teacher than an NBA starting point guard. He’s just too reserved and quiet.

E43

February 14th, 2011
11:47 am

obrien- That may be so but having 8 guys returning doesn’t mean that they’ll just magically match up and gel every-time LD can think of a lineup. minor= inserting a 2 at the 2 1 at the 1 etc coz on a fast-break your assignments remain the same. This is a situation where the whole rotation is messed with and that’s without the injuries. Imagine if we had to play Dwight and our C and PF had to change positions 4 times in 4 games. Orlando would clearly have an advantage.

Rufus1

February 14th, 2011
11:49 am

LD’s Scapegoats…

Bibby and Jamal allow the Philly back court(Meek, Holliday and Williams) to score 51 points… And they score total of 11pts…
Solution= Bench Marvin and Teague DNP.

Result…
Back-up PG(Livingston)22pts season high… He keep the Bobcats in the game, so Jackson could hit the winning shot**(6′8 Jackson scored the last 4pts for Charlotte over 6′4 Jamal and 6′5 Mo, while 6′9 Marvin road the bench).** Bibby and Jamal had a total of 13pts…

17mil worth of veterans were outscored 73 to 22 over the last 2 games by 4 players making a total of 11mil(Journeyman, 2nd year player and two 2nd rounders)…WOW!

For those who think Teague is a waste….Jrue Holliday(Drafted 17th, Teague Drafted 19th) is a perfect example of what a young PG can start to become, WHEN YOU COMMIT TO DEVELOPING ONE!!!

This isn’t rocket science…You fix the flat tire 1st.

Trojan

February 14th, 2011
11:52 am

The team has good players but the team is so poorly constructed.

We have the minimum for a back up center. We have a starting pg that would not start with any other team in the NBA.

We have good players but we are severely deficient at two positions.

Trojan

February 14th, 2011
11:54 am

Great post Rufus

Chris E

February 14th, 2011
11:55 am

Fundamentals?

You must agree that Phillips looks like a Girls high school basketball crowd at the start. Even my wife comments on that when she watches. That has to sap your energy at times and then the consitant barrage from the media and fans of negativity can’t help.

I totally disagree about the effort. They give good effort, its just hard to sustain when the bench gives up so much. To me even with mistakes Teague has to play but more importantly the bench has to run the motion offense effectively. And in my opinion, JC1 is not equipped to do that. I watch other teams and their 2nd unit seems to always be in more control than ours.

If Drew needs to do anything, its concentrate on the 2nd unit running plays and being crisp offensively. Yes Teague needs much more aggression, but more importantly they need to coach him up on how to be that change of pace for the Hawks.

With Teague, Marvin and JC1 that’s plenty of scoring options off the bench and it will enable them to keep some leads and momentum for the starters. It will also allow Bibby and JJ the rest they need to be crisp at the end of games.

This is the time to figure these things out so come playoff time they will be ready to perform better in the clutch.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
12:11 pm

Chris E,

Good teams have to be able to win even if they dont have any fan support. But that has been one of the problems with the Hawks during Woody’s tenure. They would lose a Tuesday night game to Washington because the arena is empty, there is no energy and no vibe.

Why is it that the Hawks are playing better on the road this year? They dont have many fans on the road, but they find a way to win. Thats what they need to do at home.

IMO, the Hawks make the wrong excuses, or just shrug it off.

Chris E

February 14th, 2011
12:14 pm

The 2nd unit should be Teague, Crawford, Damien/MO, Marvin/Powell and ZaZa. With Powell and Mo playing situationally. The Hawks already mix and match well, so its not like you them all in together a great deal but you have something there that you can work with. If more effort is given to this unit executing the offense better and within the motion system then it will keep the 1st unit sharper.

This will also bring the team closer together. That will form the bond they are looking for and the trust they will need in one another. Drew has to trust in his system and impose his will on the whole team to play within it.

niremetal

February 14th, 2011
12:15 pm

Doc,

Heh…it actually takes me a little while to compile the stats just for Josh because I have to go in and look at the individual shot chart for each quarter of the game before doing any of the arithmetic. I’m doing Josh rather JJ/Jamal because the distribution of Josh’s shots has changed significantly from last year – he’s taking significantly more jumpers generally and 3s in particular. Last year, Jamal shot 82% jumpers compared to 85% this year, and JJ shot 79% jumpers compared to 80% this year (and JJ’s percentage has been falling for the past month).

By comparison, 36% of Josh’s shots last year were jumpers compared to 60% this year. Thus, the question of whether Josh’s jumpshooting has improved takes on significant added importance. Since I only really have time to do one, it makes the most sense to focus on Josh.

Rufus1

February 14th, 2011
12:25 pm

The real difference…

The only real difference between the Hawks and the other top teams in the east is the PG. our defensive liability at the PG is so great, that it effects the entire team. 2 thru 6 we are on par with any team in the east.

The MYTH is that we need a great defensive PG, we don’t….. We need an average defensive PG to give the Hawks better defensive balance.(like Mario Chalmers) He simply stays infront if his man….Is that too much to ask of your starting PG.

Chris E

February 14th, 2011
12:33 pm

O’Brien,

They are ready for no support on the road, but at home its different. Think about the last 2 years in particular. After the during the Celtics series and the 2 years afterwards the fans were an X Factor!!! No one can deny that. During the Orlando series and afterwards the team has taken a hit by the fans and continue to be a joke to the media. That takes a toll on anybody after a while.

When they expend the energy they have on the road, its a let down when they are not rewarded with big crowds at home and as reported even crowds at home where the visiting team had just as many fans than the Hawks( ex. Knicks game)!!!

That’s no excuse they still have to overcome this but it is a reality. The Hawks need some good PR work and mental toughness. That has to be ingrained in them by their Management and Coaching staff. I will remain a diehard fan and hope that ASG will figure it out. But that being said, there aren’t many teams in the NBA that can dominate the Hawks and with the right adjustments as a few have suggested in the media they are a dangerous team!!!

As we just saw a few weeks ago when the Hawks are playing within the system JJ is deadly and Josh & Al are becoming quite consistent. With Twin in, it clogs the lane better to help Bibby and frees up Al to score more. They rebound better and to me are much more formidable as a team.

niremetal

February 14th, 2011
12:35 pm

Now that I looked, it’s interesting to compare other top shooting guards this season:

Crawford is shooting 85% jumpers with an eFG% of .488.
Ray Allen is shooting 81% jumpers with an eFG% of (!!!) .595.
Kevin Martin is shooting 81% jumpers with an eFG% of .481.
Kobe Bryant is shooting 81% jumpers with an eFG% of .463.
JJ is shooting 80% jumpers (82games says 82%, but it hasn’t done its biweekly update yet) with an eFG% of .429 (since the New Year, though, the eFG% is much higher – .474, by my math).
Monta Ellis is shooting 74% jumpers with an eFG% of .462.
Manu Ginobili is shooting 71% jumpers with an eFG% of .508.
Eric Gordon is shooting 70% jumpers with an eFG% of .456.
Dwyane Wade is shooting 58% jumpers with an eFG% of .427.

Last year, by comparison, JJ shot 79% jumpers with an eFG% of .482 – very close to his stats since New Year’s.

N.D.T.K.A.

February 14th, 2011
12:38 pm

Amen Rufus,

You get payed (Drew and Sund) to coach and make the needed adjustments to put a winner on the floor. To see what we have with Teague play him and not just for sporadic minutes. Tell Jamal, JJ, and Josh that Teague is your pg give him the ball and let him make the call and start the offense, period. Tell Josh and Al to place a$$ in the post and stay off of the perimeter. Tell JC1 to attempt to play defense or sit on the bench. Give Damien or Mo his minutes. It’s called coaching!!

Consistency by the team not up and down play (blowing out a good team one night and two days later getting blown out by a bottom feeder)is the reason fan support is still weak. Beating a playoff team on the road and then letting a lottery team blow you out at home. Quitting, like they did in the playoffs last year is the reason for the attendance problem. Attendance problems can be placed on the man in the mirror when it comes to the Hawks. If the players don’t give a da%, why do you think the fans will, sometimes it’s not if you lose it’s how you lose! Alot of people in Atlanta look for the Hawks to lay an egg and expect them to implode by or during the playoffs.

“Consistency” and discipline will bring fans.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
12:43 pm

While LD complains about players in their comfort zone, this was in the ajc story on June 18, 2010 when LD was hired.

For six seasons Hawks players have known Larry Drew as peacemaker, confidant and positive buffer to Mike Woodson’s often-fiery bench demeanor.

That’s one reason they were glad to see Drew promoted last week from Woodson’s assistant to his successor as head coach.

“When everybody had problems on the court, we used to go to him for advice,” Hawks forward Josh Smith said. “I think that’s a plus for him.”

Hawks management agreed, citing Drew’s familiarity with the players as a major factor in the decision to hire him..

And now LD thinks players are too comfortable. Really? Considering you were their confidant for 6 years, why wouldnt they be comfortable?

westurd

February 14th, 2011
1:02 pm

Just got word ASG is recalling and refunding all season tickets due to the shotty product they continue to release.

Rufus1

February 14th, 2011
1:03 pm

Hope…

IMO hope is the main reason the attendance is down from last year. No one thinks we have any chance to Making to the finals with Bibby as our starter. Management and the coaching staff have the responsibility to give their fans HOPE…

That is why the NFL is so successful, most teams start the year thinking they have a chance.

With Bibby as our starter, even the “Die Hard” fans don’t believe we will make it out of the 1st round, so why would a casual fan spend money on a HOPELESS product.

Analogy…

If I intended to take a trip from ATL to CALI, but had to choose between a flat tire(Bibby) or the “donut”(Teague or JC2). I would choose the “donut”. Even thought I may still end my trip on the side of the road.
…ATLEAST THE “DONUT” GIVES ME HOPE THAT I COULD MAKE IT!!!!!

Guesswhosthis

February 14th, 2011
1:12 pm

This team needs a trade badly. They have too many players that don’t compete at a professional level. This team only thinks about offense and when their shot is off, they get blown out. A guy I would really love to have at point guard is George Hill from San Antonio. That guy doesn’t back down from nobody and plays hard on both ends of the floor. Also, I believe it’s time for the Hawks to part ways with Josh Smith. That guy is too talented and let’s that get to his head. He only plays hard against the good teams or against star players but doesn’t give the same effort against lesser opponents. We need to let him go and just stick with Al Horford. Mike Bibby also needs to go because he’s just too unproductive for the amount of minutes he’s on the floor. He gives up way too much than he actually contributes to the team. If you keep him, he needs to come off the bench for spot minutes and just hit a few 3s while he’s in. Jamaal Crawford is also hurting this team because of his lack of defense. Sure I’ve seen this guy win games for us with his scoring but how much games do we win because of that. Now compare that with how many games we lose because guards are penetrating and making our defense look like a bunch of guys running all over the place trying to cover open guys. Scoring is all about talent. But defense is all about heart and effort and that’s what we need. We’ve seen this talented team get clobbered way too often. It’s time this team learns how to fight every game. Bring in George Hill and couple other hard nosed players and give up Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford, and Mike Bibby and you will have a tough team. And trust me, you can get a lot of value for those three guys so make it happen now.